CEBU CITY – Defending champion Noel Tillor successfully retained his title at the 39th MILO Marathon Cebu qualifiers held Sunday (October 11) at the Cebu City Sports Complex. Tillor was the biggest winner in the over 24,000-strong field in what is easily the biggest qualifier outside of Metro Manila.
The pride of Bogo City, Tillor negotiated the 21-kilometer route in 1:14:46, slower than his winning time a year ago but still enough to merit a trophy and PHP 10,000.00. Coming in at Second Place was Narceso Deterala (1:16:36) followed by Third Place Adonis Singson (1:17:29).
Last season’s Tagbilaran leg champion, Ruffa Sorongon ruled the Women’s Division in 1:29:05. She beat last year’s Angeles champion Miscelle Gilbuena (1:32:04) and Third Place Lizane Abella (1:42:48).
A total of 86 male and 18 females made the grades of their respective age groups to earn tickets to the National Finals on December 6, 2016 at the SM City Clark in Angeles City, Pampanga. The 18 female qualifiers are the most produced by a provincial leg in the last three seasons.
For the second year in a row, reigning MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal opted not to compete on her home turf. However, Tabal made a personal appearance at the race to give inspiration to the participants.
While preparing for the Nationals and other races, Tabal and her coach Philip Duenas devoted time to teaching running basics to selected public school pupils. These children are also the same recipients of free athletic shoes from MILO of which they immediately used in Sunday’s races with some emerging victorious in their distance category.
Tabal MILO King Rafael Poliquit are expected to have their hands full as they will be challenged by the country’s elite runners and a sprinkling of foreign entries in the Nationals. The MILO King and Queen will be sent to the United States to compete at the 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016.
Cebu’s grand showcase led by local organizer Ricky Ballesteros was a fitting ending to the four-city Visayas swing as the MILO Marathon now shifts to Mindanao for the final four legs of the season beginning with General Santos City on October 18. For more information and to register, get in touch with Christian Gonzales at (0917) 902-1773 or (0923) 724-7739.
Other Winners: Prince Joey Lee and Geneda Arcuino (10 kilometers), John Cliff Debulosan and Maryjoy Loberanis (five kilometers) and Joseph Antiola and Jessel Ochia (three kilometers).